LACONIA – 2013 proved to be a very busy and successful year for members of the Lakes Region General Hospital Auxiliary.
In just twelve months the group barely came up for air, jumping from one project to the next all with a mission of raising funds to support important initiatives at LRGH.
The Auxiliary's primary income source is the Gift Shop at Lakes Region General Hospital. Completely volunteer-managed and run, 50% of proceeds from gift shop purchases benefit Auxiliary projects. In 2013 this amounted to over $20,000.
"The gift shop at Lakes Region General Hospital is a constant work in-progress. Auxiliary members put so much thought into everything we put out on our shelves. Our gifts are truly unique and we're always trying to stay ahead of the curve to be contemporary and relevant, and to keep shoppers coming back," explains Auxiliary President Nancy Paterno.
The LRGH Gift Shop sells anything from cards to patient toiletries to small gifts, scarves, slippers, and jewelry. They recently partnered with Heaven Scent Flowers and the case is regularly stocked with beautiful and unique arrangements. In addition, Alex and Ani (+) Energy bangle jewelry is now being sold in the gift shop.
"As a group we always try to think outside of the box when it comes to our merchandise," states Gift Shop Chair Sue Dalton. "Whether it's introducing a new line of jewelry or displaying something in the window that might catch the eye of a passerby, we always strive to keep things fresh. The more revenue we bring in, the more the Auxiliary can do for the patients and staff at LRGH, and we're very proud of our hard work."
The Auxiliary's signature fundraising event is their annual Craft Fair, held each October. Nearly $6,000 was raised from this past fair to benefit the Breast Health Program at LRGH and to provide Comfort Bags to countless patients. Over the past twelve years the Auxiliary has raised over $60,000 from the Craft Fair.
From late November until early December the Tree of Love is a focal point of the LRGH Atrium. This year paper angels, created by the students at Woodland Heights Elementary School, were purchased for $3 in honor or memory of a loved one. Angel names were read at a special ceremony held in mid-December and this year the Tree of Love raised over $1,200.
Revenue from the gift shop and these fundraisers allow Auxiliary members to support a number of hospital initiatives throughout the year. The Auxiliary was pleased to allocate $3,000 to Wish List recipients in 2013. In many cases these are hospital departments whose staff is requesting something special that may not be covered within their budget. The Auxiliary also supplies $1,500 annually in clothing to the Emergency Department Crisis Closet, provides $1,000 to maintain their Courtesy Cart, and funds the Doll Committee whose members craft over 600 handmade dolls and animals, bringing comfort and a smile to young patients at LRGH.
Over the past several years the LRGH Auxiliary has purchased 25 Staxi Chairs, which are available for patient use throughout the hospital. The cost of these state-of-the-art wheel chairs range from $1250 to $6,000 and the group looks forward to purchasing three more in 2014. In addition the Auxiliary purchased a much-needed bladder scanner at a cost of $13,000. Two blanket warmers were purchased for the 3rd and 4th floors, which provide a little extra warmth and comfort for many patients throughout the year.
This past Spring the LRGH Auxiliary awarded $6,000 in scholarships to several deserving students who are pursuing careers in the healthcare field.
The Auxiliary is also a very proud supporter of LRGHealthcare fundraising events. For the 10th year in a row the Auxiliary stepped up as a $2,500 Silver Sponsor of the Red Dress Gala. The group also sponsors the Tanger 5K 'Fit for a Cure' event and the Golf Classic.
Last but certainly not least, the Auxiliary has pledged $10,000 to the LRGHealthcare Capital Campaign, placing them at the Heritage Sponsor level.
All of these projects and opportunities to support various hospital initiatives were made possible by the hard work and dedication of members of the LRGH Auxiliary, and Gift Shop and event volunteers.
LRGHealthcare is a not-for-profit healthcare charitable trust representing Lakes Region General Hospital, Franklin Regional Hospital, and affiliated medical providers.